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South Dakota Small Claims Court Information

  • Statues: South Dakota Compiled Laws Annotated, Title 15, Ch. 39, Sections 45-78.
  • Dollar Limit: $12,000.
  • Where To Sue: Where defendant resides or injury occurred. Corporation resides where it does business.
  • Service: Certified or registered mail first, return receipt (service is binding on defendant who refuses to accept and sign for that letter); if that fails, sheriff or court-approved adult, who is a county resident.
  • Hearing Date: Set by court.
  • Attorneys: Allowed.
  • Transfer: Allowed at judge's discretion if defendant requests jury trial at least 5 days before hearing (must provide affidavit justifying transfer because facts are complex); to regular civil procedure of appropriate court.
  • Appeals: Not allowed.
  • Special Provisions: No jury trial. No libel or slander cases. No eviction cases.

Note: This section outlines the special rules that apply to the small claims courts of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Filing fees are not listed because they vary greatly and change frequently. Because court rules may change at any time, always check with the clerk of the small claims court to verify the accuracy of the information given for your state.

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